It's Here!

By staff February 14, 2007


Valentine’s Day and all that.

By Judi Gallagher



Here it comes. Get out the chocolates, overpriced red roses and start to panic over not-made-yet reservations at high-priced restaurants (even higher when they jack another $5-$10 per entrée) for this one special night of the year. If my husband Paul is reading this… hint, hint, I may not like chocolate—see my piece about missing the chocolate lover’s gene in “Food and Wine” in this month’s issue Sarasota Magazine, but I sure do like the look of pink roses and the sparkle of diamonds over a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. (best price is usually at Sam’s Club).  

Actually, I prefer to stay home on major holidays and enjoy a huge Caesar salad, fine porterhouse steak, a nice bold cabernet and good company after a walk on the beach at sunset. I do however enjoy dining out two nights before the holiday, when crowds are fewer and chefs have more time to make special preparations.

Hats off to Cosimo’s Brick Oven for offering their three-course Valentine’s Dinner for two Feb. 12-18, served after 4 p.m. Think about a Chianti poached pear with Gorgonzola and walnuts on a bed of baby greens, followed by lobster-filled ravioli tossed in a tomato and sherry cream sauce or rack of lamb with rosemary demiglace and finished with homemade chocolate mousse topped with fresh raspberries. At only $49.95 per couple with a bottle of Coppola rosso or pinot grigio, I can afford to take a few friends as well as my hubby.

Tired already of black ties?  Here comes a Fat Tuesday party worth checking out on Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Michael’s On East. It is going to include some incredible New Orleans food. Unlike most galas, there will be no sit-down dinner but instead an ongoing New Orleans feast to benefit Goodwill Industries feast will be served from nine food stations scattered throughout Michael’s ballroom and the atrium. Think seafood gumbo with cornbread, oysters Bienville and much more. Now that’s my idea of a great night out—bring on the beignets! For information, go to

Love Feast: The Valentine's Special at Cosimo's.


Next week, local restaurants will team up with the City of Sarasota to welcome our sister city, Treviso, Italy,  for an incredible week of culinary and cultural exchange.. This is a wonderful opportunity for Sarasotans to enjoy local cuisine and the culinary products of the Treviso region. For more information got to


Are you having a special romantic dinner this week? Share your story with us by posting below or e-mail me at [email protected].
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